Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Baden believe the group proved, beyond a doubt?

2. Where did Baden moonlight during his residency?

3. How are the majority of bodies identified?

4. Which autopsies are done incompetently much of the time?

5. What do some list as a reason to believe Marilyn Monroe was murdered?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

2. Describe briefly the position of coroner during the reign of King Richard I.

3. Describe why Baden believes the dead woman at the fund raiser and the dead baby in the impoverished apartment represent the inequalities of life.

4. What does Baden note in Chapter One is the price of fame when a celebrity dies, and why?

5. Explain how the body of the mafioso was identified.

6. What are the ways mentioned in Chapter Six to identify a body?

7. Briefly explain the case of Ann Hart.

8. Describe how Baden explains why the father of the female drug addict in Chapter Two has little emotion.

9. Explain what Baden notes occurs by the French Revolution as a way to bring bodies to medical schools for science.

10. Explain Baden's experience of the convergence of hospital medicine and the morgue, and why the event had an impact on him.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Baden points out several times in the novel that the role of the ME is one of politics, science, and power. Do you agree that the ME has power? Why or why not? Do you think the ME can directly affect the outcome of a criminal trial? Why or why not? Does this mean the ME has to show a large level of credibility? What should happen if that credibility is questioned? Do you think the ME should issue death certificates that necessarily help the DA? Why or why not? Be sure to analyze these issues using examples and details from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

There are several cases in the book where individuals take part in the death of another person, but are determined to be innocent of wrongdoing. These cases include the case of Daphne Mellon, the doctor and nurse in Chapter 10, and the Sutton Place banker, Robert. Choose one of these cases, and discuss the following:

1.) What was the cause of death for the victim?

2.) What were the circumstances surrounding their death?

3.) Why was no one convicted of their murder?

4.) Do you think that the person(s) involved in the victim's death should have been brought to trial? Why or why not? What is the difference between your chosen case, and the case of Cathy Smith, who served time for giving John Belushi his last drug injection? Why was she brought to justice, but the people in your chosen case were not? What does this say about the current system?

Be sure to go into specific detail about why these deaths were considered accidents, even though someone else was present, or contributed to the death.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 4, Baden discusses the history of the office of the medical examiner. In detail, discuss this history. How did the position begin in the reign of King Richard I? What was the position like by the eighteenth century? What event began to change the view of this position, according to Scotland Yard? What began to happen by the French Revolution? How was the position seen in the colonies? What was the view of the ME by the early nineteenth century? What is the current view? Be sure to list details from the book in your discussion.

(see the answer keys)

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